A student’s perspective on the university’s vaccine incentives
Cleveland State University recently joined a small group of Ohio universities that do not mandate a COVID-19 vaccination. As of today, they are now financially motivating students to get the vaccine.
The university announced via email yesterday that they will pay students $100 to get the vaccine this month, and will enter already vaccinated students in a $2,500 drawing. CSU has been adamant about not requiring a vaccine in order to avoid public backlash. However, paying students $100 each for getting the vaccine in October is simply rewarding students who have waiting months to get the vaccine. Not only that, but it also rewards students for getting the vaccine on campus, which is a way for CSU to increase their vaccination numbers.
Apart from the unethical nature of simply bribing students to get vaccinated, the act of paying students to do something the university is not requiring is an undemocratic and unofficial way of enforcing a requirement. The university is playing into the stereotype of broke college students who will do virtually anything- legal or illegal- for money, hoping that this will encourage the hold-outs to get vaccinated. The university is too scared to enforce a vaccination mandate, so they will unnecessarily waste money and resources to encourage students to get the vaccination.
If CSU is so concerned with preserving students’ rights to abstain from vaccinations that they refuse to mandate a vaccine, why would they expect students to sacrifice their values for money? The university is not hoping to preserve rights; they are simply hoping to preserve their own image.